What conditions might produce a reversal of the "virtuous circles" that have brought increasing peace to much of the world?
Conditions that might produce a reversal of the “virtuous circles,” or advantageous feedback loops, that have brought increasing peace to much of the world would mean returning to the conditions that existed before those circles were established—for example, re-establishing authoritarian systems of government, patriarchal culture, and capitalist economies would reverse the virtuous circles that are now thriving in some areas.
For example, what has brought peace to much of Africa, after decades of bloody internal warfare, has been the education and the equal voice of women in politics and economics. Micro-lending among women’s collectives in East Africa has rescued devastated economies, and the Women’s Mass Action Movement gained peace for Liberia in 2003, ending their civil war. In the Western Hemisphere, war has returned when virtuous circles have been uprooted. For example, when the privatization of NAFTA threatened the sharing economies of the Yucatan Peninsula, the Zapatistas raised arms. El Salvador experienced its bloody revolution after a capitalist, authoritarian regime dominated the culture and economy. Pinochet's capitalist, authoritarian government also led to revolution in Chile.
Where women have the economic power to take care of their families, and a voice in government, economies can stabilize, more collective decisions can be made, and peace can be achieved. These virtuous circles of peace are also evident in pre-Columbian North America, where there was already relative peace and stability among First Nations and where their economies and cultures were more matriarchal, their system of government was non-authoritarian, and they enjoyed sharing economies.
History shows that overturning any egalitarian culture or economy will eventually and inevitably reverse their virtuous circles.
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